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Old Jul 16, 2009, 7:17 PM   #1
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Default concert tips

I think I've asked this before, but I can't find the thread.

I'll be going to my cousin's concert tomorrow night and was looking for any tips on getting good shots. It is planned for outdoors at Boarding House Park. Here is a link http://www.lowellsummermusic.org/pag...=root/home.htm if it helps. Although, if it rains, as is forecasted, we will be indoors at the local high school auditorium, I believe.

I think we are supposed to have backstage passes. So, I should have access to wherever I want to go.

I planned on taking my Pentax 18-55 and 50mm (1.4) and the Tamron 70-300 (although, yet again, the 18-250 would be great to have right now.) I tried to shoot another concert of his a year ago October, but missed a lot of shots. He tends to do a lot of jumping and so doesn't the audience!

Since I'm assuming shutter speed is going to be important for getting shots, I figured I'd be better off shooting in TV mode rather than AV, like I usually do.

Anyway, any tips appreciated.

Patty

p.s. In case your confused, yes, Michael is my cousin.
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Old Jul 16, 2009, 7:35 PM   #2
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Patty - the truth is: shutter priority is a poor choice for low light work. You do want faster shutter speeds but not at the expense of poor exposure - especially at high ISOs. Shooting at high ISOs, you get better results by nailing the exposure rather than underexposing to achieve a higher shutter speed. If lights are changing (i.e. using multi-colored lights etc) then shoot Aperture priority - if lighting is consistent shoot manual exposure.
In reality - you're going to have a tough time with an f5.6 lens like the 70-300 - especially if there is a lot of movement. Given that, I would plan on getting stage-front and using the 50mm 1.4

If you can shoot from left of stage or right of stage you'll get better results. Looks like the crowd is a decent distance from the stage and that 50mm lens doesn't have a lot of reach.
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Old Jul 16, 2009, 7:38 PM   #3
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Default Concert Photography

OK, Patty-

Take a look at the attached photo. It was taken on stage on a cruise ship with my K-2000 camera using the Pentax 50-200 mm lens with the WB on incandescent or tungsten, and the ISO set to 1600, and of course using no flash. If I remember correctly, with that combination of settings I had a shutter speed of between 1/80th to 1/100th of a second. Take a test shoot and check the appearance of the face colorl It the fces are white-ish you need to using some minus exposure compensation. If the faces are too dark, then you need to add a bit of + exposure compensation.

With the ability to go backstage, this is a venue where you could really use your Pentax flash, as well. For shooting from the audience with no flash, use the settings described in paragraph #1.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Jul 16, 2009, 7:53 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtclimber View Post
OK, Patty-

Take a look at the attached photo. It was taken on stage on a cruise ship with my K-2000 camera using the Pentax 50-200 mm lens with the WB on incandescent or tungsten, and the ISO set to 1600, and of course using no flash. If I remember correctly, with that combination of settings I had a shutter speed of between 1/80th to 1/100th of a second. Take a test shoot and check the appearance of the face colorl It the fces are white-ish you need to using some minus exposure compensation. If the faces are too dark, then you need to add a bit of + exposure compensation.
Sarah Joyce
Sorry to say very clearly this shot was taken with direct flash looking at the shadows behind the subject and the exif shows:

Exposure Time = 1/125"
F Number = F4.5
Exposure Program = Normal program
ISO Speed Ratings = 400
Flash = Flash fired, compulsory flash mode.

For concert shooting while keeping it simple then aperture priority is the way ahead. If you are happy to shoot M then that is the best but it can be a little more difficult. Use a high ISO to get a good shutter speed and personally I would leave it on auto white balance as most concerts I've shot have had changing lights.

Here is a quick sample, I was at ISO 1250 and f2.8 to get the shutter speeds I wanted so just think you will have 2 stops less with your 300mm lens (1/4 the light) so unless you have great lighting don't expect much. If you can get close the use the fast prime.



Please do share you results when you get back, I would love to see them.
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Old Jul 16, 2009, 10:40 PM   #5
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Thanks, John, Sarah Joyce and Mark.

I do have the Pentax 50-200, but it's still only 5.6 at 200. From past concerts I've gone to of his and watching his recent stuff on facebook, he uses a lot of moving, flashing lights. The concert starts at 7:30. Although, another group plays first.

Please help me pray for rain tomorrow. The forecast right now is saying 88 and humidity.

Okay, so I set auto WB, shoot RAW (or will that be too slow?), AV or manual and high ISO. I'll have to experiment. I might have to go backstage or up front by myself or with my son. I'm afraid the backstage is too loud for my aunt. So, we'll be sitting quite far back after a conversation with her tonight.

Thanks for these and any other tips I can get.

Patty
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Old Jul 16, 2009, 10:43 PM   #6
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Actually, here are some from last time I got to see him. These were with the K100 and it seems these particular ones were with the Pentax 50-200. These looked much better before resizing to post.

1 - 138mm, 4.5, 1/45 sec
2 - 160mm, 5.6, 1/60 sec
3 - 88mm, 5.6, 1/45 sec
4 - 43mm, 4.5, 1/60 sec (oops, this must have been the 18-55)

I didn't have the 50mm or 70-300 back then.

Patty
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Old Jul 16, 2009, 11:11 PM   #7
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Default here is the Correct Photo Sample, Sorry...

Mark, I do apologize-

I grabbed the wrong sample photo. Here is the intended photo sample that I intended to use in answer Patty's question.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Jul 17, 2009, 4:14 AM   #8
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Patty, tell them to turn the lights up to give you a better shutter speed LOL.

I think RAW is a really good idea just in case you miss exposure slightly you will have a little bit more to play with.

Sarah, that looks more like I would expect LOL.
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Old Jul 17, 2009, 5:01 AM   #9
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I think concert photography is the kind of photo that really puts your lens to a test. You work with fast moving objects in poor, uneven and changing mixed light. It's hard to get near, but closeups are usually more interesting than "landscape" showing it all. And if you get near, you are normally placed very low compared to the performers, getting a frog's perspective in every shot. If you can get a bit further back you get more on level with the performers. So ideally you need a fast, long tele, and maybe a shorter fl for a few shots. Where do you find a really fast HQ zoom?
At examination day in my school I had it all working for me. I could follow the show three times in a row (to many students to squeeze them in all at the same time). I also had the freedom to move around in the theatre. This allowed me to start with the FA 50mm, getting some overviews and getting to know the different numbers. Next I put the 85mm on, getting a bit closer from the back rows, and for the third show I put the 200mm on. Thanks to all these advantages, I could get 40 shots good enough to put on the schools webpage. Some of them aren't really sharp, but are still good enough for the purpose. All shot using aperture priority and ISO800.

Kjell

#1 FA50mm f1.4 @f2.5, 1/250 sec
#2 A*200mm f2.8 @ f2.8, 1/125 sec
#3 A*85 mm f1.4 @f 2.2, 1/400 sec
#4 A*200mm f2.8 @ f2.8, 1/200 sec
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Old Jul 17, 2009, 7:14 AM   #10
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Kjell, Can I borrow your lenses for tonight? My address is........ Or course, there's a huge ocean between us, but.....

That was one thing I'd wished I could do it again for I knew there were things I'd do differently. But, that was two years ago and I can't remember what I would have done differently.

Patty
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